I remember the first time I came into contact with Podcasting. It was about a year ago when I first went to this very site. There was only one or two at the time. Now podcasts are everywhere! Every site has one. They are all different in many ways, but at the same time all the same in one very annoying way: They’re all terrible.
That’s right; I said it out loud and in a manner most proud. Podcasts on the whole suffer a horrible lack of quality in the sound, voice personality, and organizational areas. The only thing they have going for them so far is good subject matter. Being on a budget myself, I do not expect every podcaster to buy the best recording equipment money can buy, nor do I expect each enthusiastic comic reader (or whatever enthusiast you are/listen to) to have a highly refined thespian style, but that is no excuse for the current crappiness.
Podcasts can be really great. The concept is cool and the possibilities are endless, so for heaven’s sake take some daggone pride in them. It doesn’t take too much effort, and no extra cost. In fact here are four delicious tips to advancing your podcast quality with no cost at all.
1) Prepare your program ahead of time.
Decide on the format of your podcast, and the subject matter of each installment before recording. And for the love of heaven, write it all down and have it handy during said recording.
2) Work on your speaking voice.
You don’t need to be the best public speaker, but practicing it a little bit couldn’t kill you. Work on what you want to talk about and practice saying big words. Most important of all don’t stress. Just relax and remember you can edit out all the crap and rerecord a few things if need be.
3) EDIT OUT ALL THE CRAP BEFORE POSTING!
Anything you record that you say you’re going to edit out later… Actually edit it out! Otherwise, just edit out you saying that you’ll edit something out later.
4) Don’t pop your P’s.
Don’t sizzle your S’s either. A good way to keep it from happening is to stretch a sheet of paper-towel in front of your microphone. It’ll catch the extra air from your P’s and S’s without hurting your volume. Also, learn your microphone’s weaknesses and learn to compensate for them. Even the El Cheapo microphone that came with your PC can have studio quality sound if you treat it right.
I’m not trying to crap on anyone’s efforts here, nor am I taking a shot at anyone in particular. I enjoy listening to podcasts, but it’s a trifle annoying when such simple steps are not taken to improve something that is so close to being so much more awesome.
So podcasters who are reading, heed my words and bend to my will. I promise you will thank me for it.
I know I will.